So today, we kicked off our first ever online blogging workshop. We must say, the line-up of facilitators is great. The initiative is a series of workshops to help grow blog in Uganda and Africa. The first one is going to run for three days; from Wednesday 29th April to Friday 1st May 2020. It has seven facilitators and is being attended by 15 participants from three African countries – Uganda, Ghana and Zimbabwe.
Today we had three facilitators; blogger and teacher Irene Nakitto talking who introduced the participants to blogging, defining key terms, delving into the history of blogging and current trends and changes in blogging. We also had Nemeyimana Vincent, an entrepreneur and blogger who gave a talk on the guidelines of finding your niche when blogging. Roland Byagaba, IT and Marketing specialist and as well as ’blogpreneur’ led a session on successful blogging.
Irene: She introduced the participants to all aspects blogging, defining blogging, a blogger, a blog, a blog post, a website and others. She gave the differences and similarities between a blog and a website. In this she pointed out that blogging started as a diary/ journaling form of writing about different aspects of life in ways that mainstream websites and newspapers weren’t. As in blogs came as rule breakers, more personal, engaging. A blog is run by one person or a small group unlike a website and this one person starts, updates and shares the blog.
Blogs have seen changed and have been more varied in content, structure and platforms. Content in that before, a blogger would personally comment about a variety of things through their eyes, but now, blogs are more topic specific, so we have food blogs, travel blogs, health blogs, and others. And in those broad categories we have even more specific blogs, for example a blog about travel across Africa, a health blog about cancer only. There are also blogs that have a variety of contributors, where it is started by one person but others can come, make accounts on it and start blogging thereon.
With the trend of social media, she noted, we now have a variety of blogging spheres and content. We have Facebook bloggers, micro-bloggers on platforms like Twitter or Tumblur, Youtube bloggers with exciting and engaging content and many others. You find that blogging has since moved away from only being on a site and moved onto social media. She ended her session by sharing some famous blogs in Uganda ( https://muwado.com) , in Africa (https://bikozulu.co.ke by Biko Zulu) and the world like the Huffington Post and others.
Irene Nakitto blogs at https://inakitto.wordpress.com and is the founder of The Nalubaale Review Literary Magazine https://nalubaalereview.wordpress.com – an online magazine that aims to publish the best Literature from Africa and by Africans.
Vincent aka Nemvicx: Nemvicx deeply looked at how bloggers can find a niche for their blogs. He noted that to find a niche you need to first find what you are passionate about. In finding a blog name, one should find a name that is easy to spell and that also brings out the content of the blog. Unless it is a personal blog, where you can use your personal name, it is better to find a name that speaks about your business and content.
Your passion and hobbies, your profession and lastly the problems you see affecting many are good ways to find what to write about. Examples of hobbies are sports, Arts, music, health (there are few health blogs in Uganda), dating, music and everything else. Your profession like salesman, doctor, mechanic (I doubt there are mechanic- related blogs in Uganda and this is much needed), education, finance are all things you can blog about. Problems could be; poverty, babies and malnutrition, nursing twins, fake pastors, or anything of that nature. Whatever you choose, just make sure you like it so that you will be motivated to write about it for long. There, your blog can become a reference in that field, and who knows, it may start bringing in the money.
Nemeyiman Vincent, aka nemvicx is the founder of SWAPAFRICA (https://swapafrica.net ) and blogs at nemvicx.com
Roland : He talked about e-commerce and the blog. That is if you structure your e-commerce blog well and it is easily accessible and easy to use, you can use it for marketing for example buying products from it and others. Content is key, and the presentation of it. Have great content for your website and present it in a good way and that way, the people who come to read it can become your customers. A big part of the success of your blog depends on your motivation to start one. He noted that once your motivation is clear, defined your audience, then you go ahead and draw a plan towards successful blogging.
The key points to successful blogging to include in your plan are; motivation, picture of success, milestones, trainings to attend to improve your blogging skills, making necessary investments, branding, building your audience and others. He then delved deeply into these and how they help direct you, a new or old blogger, to successful blogging. Execution and dedication are also key tips to blogging success, if you have a good plan but cannot execute it well or you don’t blog regularly as planned, you might not achieve the success you envisioned. So planning, consistency and research are key to successful blogging too.
Roland Byagaba is the founder and director of Muwado (https://muwado.com ) – an online blogging platform that aims to pay its contributors, he is a former director of the Writivism Festival and he is a Leo Africa Institute YELP alumni.
That was about it for today. You can follow live tweets of this class on our Twitter page @ugbloc and on the hastag #UGBLOGCLASS.
We have another online blogging workshop coming your way soon so stay tuned for updates. #UGBLOGCLASS